Being able to overcome customer objections is a skill all entrepreneurs should master.
Since the job of the entrepreneur is to create change, move things forward and sell new ideas, resistance should be expected.
Winning people over though is seldom easy. The process requires patience, an understanding of how people behave plus an appreciation you don’t win every-time…
Overcome Customer Objections – How not to do it
When faced with people who reject your offer, or disagree with your suggestions, the natural response is to interrupt and explain why you are right and they are wrong. In other words, you openly contradict.
Unfortunately, in a sales situation, open contradiction impacts like a silent, yet highly potent fart.
The ‘recipient’ reacts negatively to the crude ‘communication’. In worst case scenarios people show anger and may even leave the room.
To avoid the potent fart moment, you have to train your behaviour so you overcome customer objections in a more constructive manner.
Overcome Customer Objections – in 3 Steps
Here is a recommended 3-step process that requires understanding and practice.
Step 1. When a customer doesn’t agree with you or questions the validity of what you are claiming, listen patiently to what they are saying. Resist the temptation to jump in and correct them. Wait for the other person to finish speaking.
Step 2. Once they have finished, ask questions to clarify what they have just said so you both understand the issue. Invariably, people raise objections because they have misunderstood the offer or idea. If the clarification process removes the misunderstanding and thus objection, job done! Remember, when you ask clarifying questions, let the other person talk. Don’t jump in or interrupt because you think you know what they are going to say. Appearing to be clever or more knowledgeable serves only to patronise and winds people up.
Step 3. If it is clear that there is no misunderstanding and the objection is genuine, then use a ‘third party’ to make the case. This ‘technique’ is called ‘feel, felt found’. It goes something like this…
I appreciate you raising the point and how you feel. Other people I work with have felt the same way. But what they found when they used the product was that the issue was not a problem.
The Effectiveness of Feel, Felt, Found
‘Feel, felt found’ is a much better way to handle an objection than open contradiction because the third party you are talking about is not in the room (so the customer can’t argue with them). Obviously, what you are saying has to be truthful so don’t make stuff up to win the day. Dishonesty doesn’t work.
Here is an example of the triple F technique working in practice.
Customer raising an Objection: “To be honest I can buy a different product cheaper and save myself some money.”
Your answer: “I understand how you feel and clearly money is important to you. Other customers I work with have said the same thing and felt the same way. However, what they found was that the quality of our product meant it lasted twice as long as the cheaper alternative – so over the long-term they got a better product and saved money.”
Will you overcome every objection?
To overcome customer objections every-time is impossible. So don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Sometimes, the objection raised highlights the key weakness of your product or service – so whilst you might not persuade the customer to buy into your idea, product or service, use the feedback to improve what you offer.
And one last tip. Don’t be nervous about people raising objections. In fact, you should see objections in a positive light. When people object, it is often a buying signal – they are just checking that their decision is not the wrong one to make.
Key Learning Points: Learn how to overcome customer objections by listening, clarifying and using the trip F technique to make your case. People often raise objections because they want to buy, but need to check they are not making a mistake. Avoid open contradiction, always be honest and learn from what people tell you.